Journal of Tropical Ecology

Short Communication

Carbon isotope composition of tree leaves from Guanacaste, Costa Rica: comparison across tropical forests and tree life history

a1 Ecology Center, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322-5205 USA
a2 Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, BioSciences West, Tucson, AZ 85721 USA

Despite the progress made in understanding the ecophysiology of tropical plants during the past two decades (Lüttge 1997, Mulkey et al. 1996), questions regarding relationships between the environment and physiological diversity remain. It is now recognized that tropical climate can be quite variable (see Coen 1983) which could lead to significant functional diversity (increased variation in life history traits) among species due to the tight association between gas exchange physiology and the environment (see Enquist & Leffler 2001, Guehl et al. 1998, Huc et al. 1994, Martinelli et al. 1998, Sobrado 1993). It remains unclear, however, how the subtleties of variation in tropical climate and tree life history traits are related to the functional diversity of tropical communities (Borchert 1994, 1998).

(Accepted April 25 2001)

Key Words: carbon isotope composition; Costa Rica; Guanacaste; dry tropical forest; functional diversity; precipitation.

c1 Corresponding author. Email: